Hot or cold showers are an enjoyable way to keep our bodies clean and relax after a long day. But they can get messy with suds and water getting into places where we don't want them. That's why we use a shower curtain, to prevent water from getting on the floor and causing accidents. When it comes to replacing your shower curtain, shun the big plastic sheets no good for the environment by choosing eco-friendly shower curtains.
In this article, you will find highly recommended shower curtains that are safer for you and the environment. Before we look at the recommendations, let's briefly see why you should care if your shower curtain is eco-friendly or not.
It is not enough for a shower curtain to simply prevent water from splashing around and wasting or becoming a slip hazard. When thinking about a little more than function, the best shower curtains should do their job and not pose a danger to you or the environment. Below are some reasons you should consider switching to a more sustainable shower curtain.
You’ll use your shower curtain pretty much every day and sometimes several times a day. Because of the warm and moist environment found in the bathroom’s wet areas, they can quickly become soiled and grow mold and mildew quickly.
You’ll probably have already noted that a plastic shower curtain doesn’t withstand wear and tear and washing for a long time. As such, you may need a replacement multiple times within a year.
They make most plastic shower curtains from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This polymer is not recyclable in municipal waste recycling systems, so curbside recycling is not an option. Options for recycling PVC such as TerraCycle do exist but may charge a fee.
PVC is plastic obtained from fossil fuels, and the countless amounts of shower curtains that don't get recycled are a waste of this precious non-renewable resource. Not to mention the polluting impact of drilling and processing fossil fuels.
Related: Fossil fuels facts and statistics
The production of PVC releases toxic chemicals like chlorine, carbon tetrachloride, mercury, asbestos, and fluorides into the environment. These substances are lethal even in small doses, and some of them contribute to global warming.
PVC curtains may even release some of these and other volatile organic compounds inside your home as you shower. Even low exposure levels to chlorinated dioxins can be harmful to developing fetuses1.
Furthermore, a lack of recycling options for plastic shower curtains means they end up in landfills, where they become plastic pollutants. Many discarded plastics eventually break down into smaller microplastics and find their way to the oceans and endanger marine life, leaching potentially toxic chemicals on the way.
In short, the best choice for your shower curtain replacement, much like other options around the home, is plastic-free and sourced from sustainable materials.
There are better options for your shower curtain than PVC; you may choose a plastic-free shower curtain made from organic cotton, hemp, or linen. The good news is these are biodegradable and do not break down into microplastics. Another option is to use curtains made from less toxic and recyclable Polyethylene vinyl acetate (PEVA) or Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA).
Quicklinks to our picks of the best eco-friendly shower curtains
Below you’ll find our picks of some of the best eco-friendly shower curtains, with important information to help you decide which is best for you. Have a browse, and when it comes to replacing your tired or torn old shower curtain, you have all you need below to choose a sustainable option to minimize waste.
Size: 24” x7”, 48” x 72”, 73” x 72”
Ethical values: natural materials, toxin-free, plastic-free, locally made
The Rawganique brand is a household accessories manufacturer. They produce sustainable rugs, window curtains, and other household textiles.
You may use their hemp shower curtain without a shower curtain liner because you can waterproof it with natural water repellent wax. However, the brand recommends that you only use the curtain liner-free in a well-ventilated environment. The shower curtain comes in over fifteen different colors and three sizes.
The brand uses 100% organic hemp sourced from around Europe. Rawganique shower curtains hang with hemp macrame rings with wooden closures. They dye the fabrics with low-impact dyes and achieve bleached-out tones with hydrogen peroxide.
This brand is careful to avoid incorporating any harmful substance in their shower curtain. So you can rest assured that your Rawganique shower curtain contains no formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds, latex, or plastic.
The brand keeps its manufacturing and sourcing close to home. It does not accumulate carbon emissions from shipping from foreign manufacturers. So when you buy their hemp shower curtains, you do your bit to lower your carbon footprint. Also, in addition to being plastic-free, the shower curtain is metal-free.
Size: 72” x 72”
Ethical values: toxic-free, organic fabrics, locally made,
Dream Designs is a women-owned organic bedding and activewear designer. The Canadian brand designs and manufactures its sustainable products locally. It provides local employment, boosting the local economy and saving on production and shipping emissions.
The brand promises that it weaves its linen shower curtain so tight it is almost completely waterproof. It is not mold-resistant, so you should only use it in well-ventilated environments or with an eco-friendly shower curtain liner. Of course, they make their linen shower curtain from 100% natural linen canvas, and it is also certified by Oeko-Tex as free from toxic chemicals.
You may have to wash, and air dry the shower curtain regularly to prevent mildew growth, but you can machine wash and dry it. The shower curtain is also light enough to air dry in an adequately ventilated bathroom quickly.
The ease of caring for this shower curtain makes it perfect for hectic folks who still want plastic-free shower curtains.
Material: organic cotton
Size: 72” x 72”
Ethical values: GOTS certified cotton, member of 1% for the planet, natural fibers
We know this brand for making organic beddings that are stylish, sustainable, and durable. They have a range of products for the bedroom and bathroom.
Coyuchi offers only two shower curtains designs, the waffle, and striped designs, and promises that you do not need to use shower curtain liners with their curtains. All you need to do is squeeze out the water the curtain has soaked in and leave it to air dry.
The brand uses naturally grown organic cotton without harming the environment. One rippled striped Coyuchi shower curtain saves 1,318 days of drinking water and is equal to avoiding 6 miles or driving emissions. Coyuchi sources and manufactures responsibly in India and Turkey, working with fair trade certified factories.
Coyuchi shower curtains are just right for people who enjoy minimalistic luxury. They are soft to the touch but heavy, so they stay weighted in place. Through their 1% for the planet membership, they support Fibershed’or regenerative, carbon-neutral farming campaign.
Material: organic hemp and linen
Size: 56” x 72”
Ethical values: handmade, zero-waste production, plastic-free shower curtain, natural fibers
Wild Canary is another excellent brand choice from which you can shop for your plastic-free shower curtain. The curtain is a strictly made-to-order product, which means the brand has zero inventory waste.
The brand does not use chlorine bleach, dye, or treat the fabrics with any chemicals, so you get a 100% natural hemp fiber shower curtain.
The brand promises that its hemp curtain is naturally water-resistant, antifungal, and antibacterial. Therefore you may use it without a liner as long as it is used in a well-ventilated bathroom where it can air dry quickly.
The hemp curtain is as close to natural as can be. It is not over-processed, so it retains most of its hypoallergenic qualities. That makes it ideal for extra sensitive skin.
Size: 72” x 72”
Ethical values: non-toxic, plastic-free shower curtain
Parachute makes textiles for the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. The Parachute brand makes some of the most elegant household textiles, and their shower curtains are no exception. The shower curtains come in 5 designs, from speckled to waffle, plain and Turkish.
The brand is certified by Oeko-Tex as free from toxic chemicals. They are also a synthetic fiber-free brand, and they only use Turkish cotton sourced responsibly from the Aegean region. Their production happens in Portugal and America at the hands of talented craftspeople.
The brand recommends line drying the shower curtain to avoid shrinkage, but that is not the only benefit. Line drying helps save energy and helps cut back on your electricity bills.
Parachute is lending a helping hand to help the United Nations fight malaria with the Nothing But Nets campaign.
Material: cotton, linen
Size: 72” x 72”
Ethical values: handmade, fair trade, organic fibers, non-toxic
Traditional yet exquisite, fit for modern minimalists, the Citizenry’s shower curtains are as decorative as they are functional. The curtains come in eight design options, each with various shade alternatives. They use either cotton or linen for the curtains and produce in limited quantities.
This brand’s handwoven cotton shower curtains are crafted in India by master artisans. These artisans work for the Kerala cooperative in India and earn double the regulated wages. The linen shower curtain is produced in Portugal by a family-run mill in a fair trade environment.
Each linen shower curtain is Oeko-Tex certified, made from the finest French flax.
The Citizenry is very transparent about its supply chain. Each product listing on their website carries the name and location of the factory that manufactured it. The brand pays artisans fair wages and invests 10% of its online sales profits to better artisan communities.
Material: Organic cotton, hemp, linen
Size: 36" x 74", 54" x 74", 70" x 74"
Ethical values: locally made, GOTS certified cotton, fair labor
Bean has an extensive line of organic shower curtains. They give you options from hemp, cotton, or linen. The organic cotton shower curtain is available in grey, unbleached, and hydrogen peroxide-whitened shades. The linen shower curtain comes in six colors and is made with non-toxic materials.
Bean sews its hemp shower curtains with hemp fabric woven in Romania. They process the fiber using an old European method that avoids the addition of harsh chemicals.
Bean is big on local manufacturing, manufacturing almost all their products in the USA. A family-run factory in the USA produces their shower curtains.
Material: cotton slub
Size: 72" x 72"
Ethical values: plant-based dye, upcycled materials,
Wild Woven is a sustainable homeware and lifestyle brand. They produce their handcrafted goods in Canada using biodegradable materials. The brand uses botanical dyes sourced from plants like rose, black walnut, and goldenrod. They use traditional Japanese artisan techniques like shibori and use non-toxic alum mordants.
Wild Woven is a small company with just four people in the production unit. They produce their curtains in small batches to avoid deadstock goods.
The brand only uses organic textiles sourced within Canada and Oeko-Tex certified textiles most of the time. They weave the Wild Woven shower curtain with a cotton slub, giving it a textured and heavy feel.
They forage for wildflowers to use for their natural dyes. This is a more eco-friendly way of sourcing the plants than setting up a monocultural plantation. And that’s not the only thing; the brand also upcycles offcuts into new products and turns waste cotton into paper packaging.
Size: 78” x 55”
Ethical values: organic materials, non-toxic, eco-packaging
This 390g shower curtain is heavy enough to remain stable on its own and not billow. Yet, its thermal properties preserve the warmth. The linen fabric allows heat to escape so that the fog from your hot shower does not cause discomfort.
The company offers to help customize the waterproof treatments for the shower curtain. If you decide to get your shower curtain waterproofed, they will treat it with a non-toxic plant-based composition. The treatment makes the fabric water resistant and gives it extra moisture-wicking qualities.
Only Good Bain sources its fabrics and manufactures its shower curtain in France. The brand packages its curtains in bio-based recyclable packaging. That way, it reduces its carbon footprint and supports the local economy.
Most shower curtains made from fabrics are only suitable for large, well-ventilated bathrooms. But, this shower curtain will air dry quickly, even in a space with little ventilation. People who live in small apartments with small bathrooms can find it to be a convenient, sustainable shower curtain option.
Material: EVA, Canvas
Size: 72" x 72"
Ethical values: handmade, locally made,
Quiet Town offers an extensive collection of shower curtains. They have two categories of shower curtains, cotton canvas, and EVA curtains. They make the canvas shower curtain with cotton grown and processed in the USA. The canvas shower curtains are available in pretty quilted designs finished with Turkish grommets.
They call the EVA curtains Sun Shower curtains because of the translucency that lets in a lot of light. It should feel like you are bathing in the sunlight.
The 10 gauge EVA won't billow and make bath time stressful. The EVA material is a non-chlorinated vinyl curtain, and it is free BPA and PVC-free.
You may use the canvas shower curtain without a liner but Quiet Town recommends using a liner to prevent mold growth. You can line the Quiet Town canvas curtains with the Sun Shower curtains.
All of Quiet Town’s shower curtains are hand-stitched in Brooklyn, USA. The brand offers customization services for people who need canvas shower curtains. The brand also contributes to the local economy by manufacturing locally.
Material: recycled polyester
Size: 72” x 72”
Ethical values: 100% recycled plastic, GRS certified
The Nebia shower curtain comes with an attached liner that can be removed and washed separately. To help the shower curtain stay weighted, they added removable magnets to prevent billowing.
They tested the curtain for tear strength, shrinkage, color fading, and fungal growth. The brand assures customers that the Nebia shower curtain will perform highly in these areas, easily lasting for about ten years.
The brand uses recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) fiber to produce its woven waterproof shower curtain and liners. They make their Nebia shower curtain and liner sets from over forty-one 500ml plastic bottles. The recycled curtain is certified by the Global Recycling Standard. The brand completely avoids using PVC and other toxic ingredients commonly found in a plastic shower curtain.
We love Nebia’s plastic-free and recyclable packaging. And since it only comes in one soft grey color that easily blends in with any decor, you save time on color decisions.
Size: 72” x 72”
Ethical values: PVC free, eco-friendly
This brand focuses on manufacturing simple and practical homeware products for the kitchen, bed, bath, and so on. They present customers with an option of fabric shower curtains and PEVA shower curtain liners. They make their fabric shower curtain from polyester, which you can recycle.
One of the more attractive iDesign curtains is the Blue Ombre Chevron curtain. Featuring a zigzag ombre design, the shower curtain is ideal for kids as well as adults who love simplicity and colors. The iDesign plastic shower curtain is free from PVC and chlorine additives, so you don't need to worry about inhaling toxins as you take a hot shower. The curtain is waterproof, so that you may use it without a liner.
iDesign’s plastic-based shower curtain is a better option than regular vinyl curtains and many plastics-based options. It is safer and far less toxic.
Showers hold personal spaces that should not just be private but also be safe. Brands make most traditional shower curtains with PVC, which is not great for the environment or you.
These recommendations offer some insight that can help make choosing a sustainable shower curtain easier.
The polyvinyl chloride debate: Why PVC remains a problematic material. Healthcare Without Harm Europe. June 2021.